December 20, 2011 Subject:
For Kindle version - http://amzn.to/v1Q9rf Amazon.com review
This is more in a Jonsonian vein than Shakespearean. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Jacobian theater and culture. Because the characters are stock figures, the whole machinery of the debt and marriage systems is made transparent, provided you can see through the jokes. And speaking of jokes, I laughed out loud several times and enjoyed the parodies of some of Shakespeare's famous speeches. Sir Giles Overreach is a great villain and the naifish hero Welborne really does find a clever 'new way to pay old debts.' The introduction calls this a proto-typical debt comedy. Not having read every debt comedy, I'm willing to take Craik's word.
New Mermaids does good work in terms of modernizing spelling and providing notes for those of us who aren't PhD's. People wanting an original-spelling text should go to their university's library or take a valium. Craik's introduction is brief but effective. It should be read after the play, since the play is easy enough to follow on first read with only a few recourses to the Cast List. Enjoy!